BMC backs MCofS wind farm manifesto

Posted by Ed Douglas on 13/09/2012
Whitelee Wind Farm, Eaglesham Moor. The biggest onshore wind farm in Europe

The BMC has announced its backing for the Mountaineering Council of Scotland’s (MCofS) wind farm manifesto which calls for a moratorium on further developments in key upland areas, especially round the Munros and Corbetts which are Scotland’s highest peaks.

The manifesto document, Protecting our Mountains: The MCofS Manifesto on Onshore Wind Farms, also seeks urgent action to create a Scottish national spatial renewables policy to harmonise clean energy generation with landscape protection.

MCofS Chief Officer David Gibson welcomed the support of the BMC, which has 75,000 members and represents mountaineers and hill walkers across England and Wales.

He said: “BMC backing for our manifesto is an important step forward in our campaign to stop big electricity companies exploiting Scotland’s natural heritage for their own profits.

“Climbers and hill walkers all over Scotland, and the UK, are deeply concerned about the growing number of highly unsuitable planning applications being made to build huge commercial wind farms in Scotland’s most sensitive and beautiful mountain landscapes.

“We are not opposed to wind farms; we are in favour of conserving our mountains. We are calling on the Scottish Government to work with those who care about the environment to create a clear policy on what will be permitted and where.

“Current measures, including their new good practice guide, are ineffectual responses to an issue with huge implications for our natural heritage, our wildlife and our tourism industries.”

Dave Turnbull, BMC Chief Executive said: “Our members and many overseas climbers have always regarded Scotland’s fantastic mountains as an important destination of choice, offering year-round challenges for hill walkers, and climbers

“We are backing the MCofS manifesto because we believe that the mountains must be protected for future generations to enjoy – not just mountaineers but all those who enjoy the landscape.

“The BMC recognises the challenge and dangers of a changing climate and is not opposed to wind energy -- far from it. But our wildest landscapes need protection from uncontrolled industrialisation.

“Scotland’s mountains now face an unprecedented threat from an onslaught of wind farm applications. These are bound to have an impact on peoples’ enjoyment of the mountains as many iconic areas are faced with major industrial developments.

“At this stage we may not know what the impact will be on our members’ perception of Scotland as a destination, but there is bound to be some reaction to the prospect of visiting industrialised landscapes.”

The MCofS manifesto also has the support of respected Scottish organisations The Munro Society, The Cairngorms Campaign and The North East Mountain Trust.


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17
1) Anonymous User
14/09/2012
Re: Wind Farm articles in the national newspapers.
Other than your 75,000 members there are hundreds of thousands of people out there that would support you to stop these abominations distroying our countryside. Why not use them to make your campaign a much larger national event.
2) Anonymous User
06/10/2012
Perhaps now the BMC may come off the fence and back the campaign protecting the Cambrian Mountains, as close as you are going to get to upland wilderness south of the border, from the ravages of wind factories. This large area of rolling hills, including mid Wales's highest hill-Pumlumon, came close to being designated as a National Park in the 1970's and there is now a movement pressing for AONB status for the area. With further wind factories this status is very unlikely to be granted.

Peter Foulkes
3) Anonymous User
07/10/2012
About time. Not only in Scotland does our landscapes require protection . Even the mafia couldn't have thought up a better money making scam than wind farms. Unless you are one of the very few people on the 'gravy train' you pay indirectly through subsidies and directly through your electricity bills.
Down here in Wales we have wonderful wilderness hills and mountains being destroyed by wave after wave of wind farms.
4) Anonymous User
07/10/2012
About time. Not only in Scotland does our landscapes require protection . Even the mafia couldn't have thought up a better money making scam than wind farms. Unless you are one of the very few people on the 'gravy train' you pay indirectly through subsidies and directly through your electricity bills.
Down here in Wales we have wonderful wilderness hills and mountains being destroyed by wave after wave of wind farms.
5) Anonymous User
07/10/2012
I suppose those opposing wind farms dont need to use any electricity then?
6) Anonymous User
07/10/2012
Delighted BMC is supporting MCofS regarding wind farms. The mountains of Scotland are very precious and must be preserved as near wilderness as possible. We have no other left in UK.

John Melling
7) Anonymous User
07/10/2012
I prefer windfarms to the climate change we've started to get in the UK any day - what a horrendous year for hill-walking it's been this year! The last 10 years or so have been pretty bad too :-(
Carol.
8) Anonymous User
08/10/2012
Weak weak weak....not opposed just not in our backyard! Usual weakness. First time I've been ashamed to be a BMC member. Industrialised landscapes (what like Dartmoor? Yeah tourist hate it there!) Check out southern spain's wind power, hasn't stopped walkers and birdwatchers there! Disgusted!
9) Anonymous User
08/10/2012
'Onslaught of applications' how emotive. Get your head out of the sand BMC potential climate change is going to mess up a lot more than a few views.
10) Anonymous User
08/10/2012
Really disappointed that the BMC are putting their name behind an issue that I believe would totally divide members' opinion. I don't want my name behind this manifesto and would much rather see my membership fees going on issues that directly affect climbing such as the great work you do for access. Can wind farms not be an issue that you campaign for on your own time?
11) Anonymous User
08/10/2012
It's not about opposing wind farms, but rather where they are sited. Do we want them on Ben Nevis and Snowdon? Already the Scottish Borders have some of the most scenic wind farms in the world with one of the Donalds needing to be re-named as "Bowbeat Wind Farm".

It is naive to imagine that these turbines will provide the solution to climate change, indeed some would say it's like pissing against the wind. However, they might play a small part, inefficient as they are, sometimes stationary when the wind doesn't blow and having a significant carbon footprint for installation and maintenance.

But better to offend Donald Trump with turbines offshore from his new golf course than to destroy our mountain landscapes.

Peter Williams
12) Anonymous User
08/10/2012
Generally speaking, the further south you go in Britain the greater the demand for electricity. Transmitting electricity over any distance is at the cost of a significant loss of energy; not all of the power put into the system where it is generated ever reaches the end user due to transmission loss. Therefore it would make the greatest sense if electricity could be generated close to centres of high population , commerce and industry.
Here are some suggestions for "ideal" sites:
Arthur's Seat
Hampstead Heath
Richmond Park
The White Cliffs of Dover
The Seven Sisters
(The last bit was admittedly tongue-in-cheek, but protests that wind farms are being planned for areas of high landscape value has not prevented too many from being approved and built in other beautiful places.)
Finally, we must not be fooled into believing that wind farms are going to make much of a difference in our struggle to reduce global warming. Sadly, at best they will only ever have a tiny effect on our desire to produce green electricity. In promoting wind energy so strongly, the politicians are driven by the desire to demonstrate that they are doing something, and the energy companies by the desire to rake in profits by selling electricity into the at an inflated price - a price which is reflected in the bills which we have to pay as the end users.
13) Anonymous User
10/10/2012
Brilliant!. Well done BMC (and MCoS). Please can we stop calling them "wind farms" and start calling them "wind factories" ? Technological improvements will soon make it feasible to site smaller, better designed, more efficient turbines in our low altitude urban connurbations, where people can admire and use them most effectively. Don't let them destroy our uplands while we wait for technology to catch up.!
14) Anonymous User
10/10/2012
Really disappointed to see the BMC swinging behind a vociferous and misguided minority. They should poll the members before supporting such divisive action. We live in an industrial society and if you want your grandchildren to go on living at all, then you need to come to terms with action of some sort on the energy front. A good discussion of the options is in www.withouthotair.com . Loads of giant turbines all over the wild ,empty boring places like mid Wales would be my preferred option ! Note that new pumped storage schemes are not going to go away either. Dave
15) Anonymous User
11/10/2012
Great to have the backing of the BMC in the fight against wind farms. Hillgoers have been involved in opposing plans all over Scotland. The way ahead must be to get a government policy which protects wild places and our scenic heritage. Yes, we need electricity but this land-based wind farm hysteria must end.

Ray Anderson
16) Anonymous User
16/10/2012
Can I partially quote one of the previous commentators - "Wild, empty _ _ _ _like mid Wales" . We dont have much of this left in our crowded Isle we need to protect it for our grandchildren.

Peter Foulkes
27/08/2013
Scotland`s mountainous areas and open wild land should be free from any industrialisation and spared by the arguments of who should and who shouldn`t have wind turbines and the same should apply to England and wales, put them out at sea or is it not profitable enough for the fat cats that invest in these companies. years of industry has left this land blighted by mine workings, run down cotton mill towns, steel works etc. and what for!!! and to what end!!!

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